Beating Stagnation – A Hammer by any other Name

Maslows hammer states (in its popularized form) – “When all you have is a hammer all your problems begin to look like nails!” This refers to the idea that if a person can only view situations in one way, each situation starts to be addressed in the exact same manner. I have been collecting and playing Khador since I began playing some three years ago now and in that time I have not strayed from the Big Red Machine in any real way – not in any way that would give me a screwdriver or a saw or anything that is not one huge honking hammer. I have, in short, succumbed to faction stagnation.

I can play Khador well and I am not one to boast, everyone who knows me will attest to that. I am proud of my ability with the armies of the Motherland. I’ve come a long way with them, winning Best in Faction at the 2013 Irish Masters. But this just makes me question myself even more. Am I a good player, or am I a good Khador player?

How can I tell?

Branching out into a different faction is the obvious way and plans are in motion to see this become a reality. But then there is the question as to when is the right time to branch out. I am not talking about skill level wise, as in “Have I learned enough with my original faction to move on?”, I am literally talking calendar-wise, in the context of the tournament season. When is the best time to start a new Faction?

As of last week, it has been decided by myself and a couple other local players (I_Avian and VagrantPoet included) that we should attend SmogCon 2014. This is a great opportunity for me personally as it will be my first sortie on to the International Stage. I am, to be honest, nervous but excited. I love this game – it has become one of my only true hobbies after all and I love the social aspect of it. Even if I do not do well on the day, I enjoy just getting to know new people. But I do want to do well, Morrow do I. So this is where my question comes in, “When do I change faction?”. By simply wanting to do well, all signs point to me not changing ’til after SmogCon. If I want to be seen to put my best foot forward on the occasion, in my opinion, I need to be wielding my biggest damn hammer. (Editor’s note: The Hammer is his Penis). SmogCon is just the beginning though as there are important events running all year, from the Irish Masters, to my hopes for the WTC 2014. When is it okay for me to step out of the little bubble I have made and brave the rest of the options the Iron Kingdoms has to offer?

The answer?

There is no right time, not at the moment, not if I want to do as well as I can. There is no time to actually start fresh, not before I have to jump back and boot camp the hell out of Khador till the next big event. So I am stuck. What do I do, give up?

Not exactly.

Don’t change the faction, learn a new tool. I am at the moment, I feel, stagnating as a player. I have a single army. There is very little difference at all to any of my 3 lists at a tournament. Am I playing Iron Fang? Yes I am playing Iron Fang, it is Khador, everyone plays Iron Fang! Are there either Kayazy or Winter Guard Infantry on the board? If it is 50pts then probably both. But I do not only have three units. I have an army book. Yeah maybe some of them are less good than others but so what? Half of the game is the skill of the player not what they are playing with. I have lost to Karchev, as have many others, hell I have almost lost to Zerkova and I think we can all agree they are super sub par, (Bar Zerkova who is, I still maintain to this day, an A rank pretending as a D).

So here it is – I, Butchers_Dozen, do solemnly swear that till January 2014, in preparation of SmogCon, I will play most if not all of my games, using lists that can and would be considered sub par. I believe that if the player is good enough and knows their faction well enough, then nothing is unplayable. This series of articles will be my way of documenting all of the new interesting things I will be trying and all of the lists I will be playing, it will be part theory-machining with the dregs of Khador and part battle report. I will attempt to shift this stagnation the only way I can, by growing out of it and getting better. It is the duty of every loyal son of the Motherland to try their hardest after all.

Thanks for listening and I will see y’all next week with my first article “Gas Masks and Grenades”.



5 thoughts on “Beating Stagnation – A Hammer by any other Name

  1. Good luck to you, sir! I’m interested to see how it goes. In an effort to keep myself from blocking out options in my own faction, I try to keep telling myself that nothing is “sub-par,” only “very situational.”

    I can’t honestly tell if it helps, but it does keep me experimenting.

  2. I support your choice to stick with the faction!

    I, too, more or less decided that I should play more of the things the Forces Book gives me, instead of merely reiterating lists.

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